Good morning, and happy Tuesday. Here are some of the stories we're following today:
1. Top U.S. general questions airstrikes in Syria
With President Obama weighing his options against ISIS, his top military adviser said Monday that now isn’t the time to commit to aid raids in Syria, where the terror network is thriving. A spokesman for Gen. Martin Dempsey later clarified that he also believes the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham remains a regional threat that “will soon become a threat to the United States and Europe.” Syrian officials, who have a shared interest in rooting out the Islamic extremists from its country, say there should be a shared effort in combating terrorism. But the U.S. State Department said Monday that it’s not “looking for the approval” of the Syrian regime. Read more in NEWS.
2. ‘Breaking Bad’ the big winner at the Emmys
After five seasons, the hit AMC drama capped off its popular run with a trove of Emmy wins on Monday night. Among them, Best Drama as well as acting honors for stars Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn and Aaron Paul. “Modern Family” took home Best Comedy, while the most emotional segment included Billy Crystal remembering Robin Williams, who died earlier this month. Read more in POP CULTURE.
This year’s show wasn’t without controversy after one skit included “Modern Family” star Sofia Vergara spinning on a rotating platform. While some viewers found it sexist, Vergara later said critics should “lighten up.”
3. ‘Day of silence’ as Michael Brown is buried
The protesters heeded the call for calm Monday morning as mourners packed a St. Louis church to remember 18-year-old Brown, who was shot to death by a police officer Aug. 9. His death has become a rallying cry for justice across America, and speakers at Brown’s funeral said this would only be the beginning for change. “Michael Brown’s blood is crying from the ground, crying for vengeance, crying for justice,” an uncle, Pastor Charles Ewing, said in his eulogy. The shooting remains the subject of a grand jury investigation into whether the police officer, Darren Wilson, should be indicted. Read more in NEWS.
4. No ransom: U.S. says it didn’t pay to free reporter
Writer and journalist Peter Theo Curtis was freed after nearly two years in captivity in Syria with the help of Qatar, although the U.S. didn’t pay a ransom to get him back, the State Department said. Curtis, 45, was handed over to U.N. officials in Golan Heights, an Israeli-held region in southwest Syria, on Sunday. He appeared in good health, but there is no timetable for when he could return to the United States. Read more in NEWS.
5. Fears grow over N.J. man missing amid Israeli conflict
Politicians in New Jersey plan to ask for more assistance from the U.S. and Israeli police in finding 23-year-old Aaron Sofer. The Lakewood man vanished Friday while hiking in the Jerusalem Forest with a friend, police said. Authorities in Israel say they are pursuing all avenues in their investigation, including the possibility that Sofer may have fallen victim to an attack by Palestinian militants. Israel, meanwhile, has stepped up its attack against Hamas by targeting high-rises in Gaza. Read more at NBC NEW YORK.
6. Ukraine captures Russian troops on 'special mission'
Ukraine released video footage on Tuesday of what it said were Russian soldiers captured on its territory, only hours before the presidents of the two countries were due to meet for the first time in months. In Moscow, a military source told Russian news agencies that a group of soldiers had surrendered to Ukrainian forces after crossing the border by accident. However, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told a televised briefing that it "wasn't a mistake, but a special mission they were carrying out." Read more in NEWS.
7. Americans’ Ebola fears unfounded: survey
With the Ebola virus dominating news coverage this summer, it’s no wonder many Americans are afraid someone in their own family could be infected within the next year. But despite surveys highlighting such concerns, health officials say it’s all unfounded. Even in a country affected by an outbreak, an individual’s chance of getting it is very low, but in the developed world, it’s virtually zero. So what’s causing this disconnect? Read more in HEALTH.
… What’s trending today?
After a difficult year for Malaysia Airlines, it’s no wonder there are reports of near-empty lines at airports and flights virtually deserted. Varying reports claim the airliner is running out of cash as its bookings drop off. Analysts say the company will need some government funding if it wants to survive the next year.
“It’s completely not their fault, but right now if you ask any customers would they fly with Malaysia Airlines, they’d just have that negative sentiment of ‘I’d rather choose something else,’” Mohshin Aziz, of Malaysian financial company Maybank, told news.com.au.